“There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn,” says Samuel Johnson. This astute quote emblazons the mirror behind the bar at Brickie’s Tavern. The other wall is decorated with sports memorabilia, including posters from classic Reno boxing matches.
Brickie’s is a bit of a dive—but in the good way. I feel that I can hide away here from the stresses of the world, in a jolly, cheerful corner with a friendly bartender and some better-than-average pub grub. The service is personable though slow and easy-going—the lax pace can also be attributed to the cook’s careful attention to the grub. And it shouldn’t matter. This isn’t a place to visit for a hurried power lunch. It’s somewhere to while away the hours with aimless discussions about sports or rock ‘n’ roll or whatever diversion floats your boat.
The food, when it does come, fulfills the needs of the hungry and the tipsy. I had the bacon cheeseburger ($5.50), a pretty damned good burger. The cheese was American (which I don’t normally like, but I didn’t ask, and, in this context, it wasn’t bad) and the bun was a bit soggy, but the patty was big, perfectly cooked and tasty—and they weren’t skimpy with the bacon. I love bacon. Man, I love bacon. You wrap up anything in bacon, and it tastes even better.
Melanie had the cheese enchilada ($5) with rice and beans. Good stuff. She let me sample some. Even after having already eaten most of my burger, I wasn’t willing to return her plate. I was especially impressed with the beans. Melanie claimed that the enchilada was actually better than those at most strictly Mexican places.
Kurt had the grilled cheese sandwich ($3). Though the grilled cheese sandwich seems to be a rather simple, straightforward affair, Kurt gave an impressive, detailed lecture on why this was a superior grilled cheese sandwich. He pointed out the consistent cheese distribution and the equal grilling on both sides. It looked good.
Erin was the only one of my fellow diners not to order something with the word “cheese” in the name of the dish. She ordered nachos ($5). Cheese, of course, plays a prominent role in nachos, so it still fit with our unplanned cheesy motif. Besides the cheese, there were veggies, beans, jalapeños and sides of great spicy green salsa and sour cream. Erin praised the sour cream: “It’s nice and thick. Runny sour cream is disgusting.”
There were a couple of striking omissions from the tavern’s menu. There were no chicken wings and no fish and chips. (No french fries at all, actually). Melanie’s mom, Jill, a longtime regular, gave the potato salad her highest possible recommendation. Unfortunately, they were all out and instead substituted a not-so-good iceberg salad. Additionally, she recommended the breakfast—a $5 bargain that includes all the fixings. I haven’t sampled it yet, but it seems like a surefire deal.
Kurt pointed out that “it seems like most of the people here were probably here yesterday.” And indeed it’s a “regulars” kind of joint. One visit and a sampling of the laid-back atmosphere, the decent beer selection, and the superior pub fare makes it easy to see why.